Most often I am one to hop on the spin bike at the gym and do my own workout. Depending on my mood and level of exhaustion, my workouts can be invigorating and heart-pumping or ho-hum and better-than-nothing. Sometimes it’s just hard to be self-motivating. It’s is akin to the writer’s block Don Williams wrote about in his blog last month; self-motivation can be a bit of a struggle too.

You can find many a book and article that have been written on the subject of self-motivation, (choose from Ian McKenzie or the hundreds of books in the Self Help section at Barnes & Noble). But since you’re reading this you may not be motivated to go out and find one, so I’ve culled it down to a few steps that work for me and should work for the masses.

1. I think I can, I think I can: Surround yourself with little motivators, things that that give you that initial spark to get going – a favorite beverage, a great playlist, a new outfit, fresh flowers, an inspirational quote if that’s what it takes – these all will make a big difference in your mindset. Personally I like to take my laptop outside to get fresh air and a fresh perspective.

2. Group hug: Make it a point to have more regular contact with people who are happy, motivated, and empathetic. Exchange a phone call, a text or two or meet up for coffee. The good energy and invariable laughs will help to reset your thinking and give you the motivation to move forward.

3. Come on get happy: I am the worst procrastinator when I am in a bad mood and simply not motivated to do a thing. Even if you don’t feel motivated or enthusiastic then fake it – just act like it because within a few minutes you actually will start to feel motivated. It’s like wearing a bright shirt on a gloomy day. Cue the Partridge Family.

4. Learn to ice skate: Well not literally but strive be a life-long learner. Read, listen and watch – try to take in everything you can.  Sign-up for a continuing ed class or take up the piano.  Even if you are an expert in your field, you CAN learn something new every day that will make you smarter, feel more confident and be more motivated.

5.Step over the line: Go ahead, get out of your comfort zone. Recently, after joining a new gym, instead of doing my own thing as usual, I have taken a few spin classes which are really challenging.  I had forgotten how much I benefit from getting out of my comfort zone. The classes push me to work harder, pedal faster and leave me with a much needed “I can do anything” mentality to carry with me through the day.

6. Put one foot in front of the other… and soon you’ll be walking cross the floor:  To get going, start with the small stuff as checking a few things off your list can give you the momentum and motivation to tackle the larger stuff. Yes it’s really that simple. 

7. High-fives all around: Don’t forget to reward yourself. There is no harm in dangling a carrot in front of you as motivation. Whether it is a simple five minute break after an easy task or a massage after a major project has been completed, there’s no harm in celebrating both the small and large accomplishments if that what motivates you to take the first step.

In my case, now that this blog is written, I am pouring myself a glass of wine to take to the deck. Yay me!